Manila Electric Co., the biggest retailer of electricity, forecasts a 6-percent sales growth in the first nine months, driven by the recovery of the commercial and industrial sectors, an executive said over the weekend.
“[In] third quarter, we can reach 6-percent growth in energy sales. That’s within the target because the commercial sector is still recovering. After all, there are no more lockdowns,” said Meralco chief commercial officer and head of customer retail services Ferdinand Geluz.
Geluz said sales rose 6 percent to 8 percent per month from July to September.
“The commercial sector bounced back. Commercial is growing double-digits, technically. It’s just a recovery, and we are still below 2019 levels, but because it was the one that was severely affected, there are months it’s 15-percent and 19-percent [sales growth],” Geluz said.
Geluz expressed optimism the commercial growth trend would continue as the economy recovers.
He said the resumption of face-to-face classes by November would also boost commercial sales.
Geluz said small and medium enterprises would benefit from the re-opening of schools.
“One growth driver in August is the resumption of face-to-face classes. Although not yet fully face-to-face, by November, we expect commercial to go up,” he said.
He said the industrial growth was expected to remain steady at 3 percent to 4 percent from the previous year.
Geluz said residential growth might remain flat or even slow down once classes reopen on increased mobility.
“Next year, it might be the same, commercial will continue to recover but not as big because its stabilizing,” he said.
“We are seeing commercial is equal to 2018 levels, and next year it might reach 2019 levels,” Geluz said.
Meralco’s consolidated energy sales volume rose 6 percent in the first half to 23,968 gigawatt-hours from 22,663 GWh in the same period last year.
The company posted a 15-percent increase in consolidated core net income to P13.1 billion from P11.4 billion in the same period last year on the back of strong energy sales and earnings from the power generation business.
Consolidated reported net income improved 32 percent in the first half to P13.1 billion from P9.9 billion a year earlier, with the adjustments made last year due to the enactment of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act and recognition of foreign exchange gains this year versus foreign exchange losses in 2021.